Thursday, July 25, 2013

Forever West: National Parks of 2013 in 7 Quick Takes

7 quick takes sm1 Your 7 Quick Takes Toolkit!

Hi there, friends and welcome!
As you know, my family ventured westward for an action packed
almost-three-week journey.
We've just about dug ourselves out from under the camping gear and laundry!
This week, I've been blogging the trip like crazy.
Here are a few recent posts....
in the event,
you know,
that you have absolutely
of free time on your hands right now and can click on over!

Forever West:
Our Trip By the Numbers

Saturday ( tomorrow ) :
 Our Trip, By the Numbers

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America the Beautiful indeed!
It always intrigues me to discover people 
who have not explored our own country, 
yet cross the Pond to see the sights of Europe and even beyond.
to each his own.
Yep, we've been to France, Italy, Greece and Ireland.
the hubby and I are definitely of the
"See America First"
Not only that,
"See America Many Times."
This summer marked the ninth that my husband and I have journeyed west of the Mississipp to
revel in the natural and historic beauty
of our great land
and the fourth with our boys.
And hey, roughing it ain't easy,
 but it's the only way to really see the sites.

So, Quick Takes this week for me was easy!
~Seven of the national parks/monuments we were lucky enough to visit this summer~
Here goes!

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Gateway Arch
Jefferson National Expansion Memorial
St Louis, Missouri

View from underneath

At the top!
630 feet up.
Talk about claustrophobia! yikes.

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Dinosaur National Monument
Vernal, Colorado
Because this area
 was covered by an ancient sea, 
the wealth of marine and dinosaur fossils that have been uncovered  here is unreal!
Please go here to read more on this fascinating science of paleontology. 

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San Francisco, California

Did you know that Alcatraz has now been a national park longer than it was a prison?
The haunting and very sad, yet informative tour we took?
I'll be blogging it at length.
There's more to Alcatraz than Al Capone.

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Yosemite National Park
Mariposa, California

If there is one who can summarize the grandeur that is Yosemite,
 it must be John Muir, whose works and words are beyond compare.
His is a genius that is unparalleled.
And his prowess with the pen?
No words can describe.
Here is what the world famous naturalist and writer conjured of the gem we know as Yosemite:

A few minutes ago every tree was excited, bowing to the roaring storm, waving, swirling,
 tossing their branches in glorious enthusiasm like worship. 
But though to the outer ear these trees are now silent, their songs never cease.


Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, 
where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul.

Would you like to know more about John Muir?
You can read a bit here.
I'll be blogging about him extensively as well.

The camera cannot capture Yosemite.
But we tried.
The above shots are the iconic Half Dome monolith.
With the men on top.
On the second shot, you can see Bridal Veil Falls toward the right.

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Lassen Volcanic National Park
Redding, California

Lassen is the only place in the world where all four types of volcanoes can be found!
To read up on volcanoes
(you'll be happy you did!)
click over to the USGS for cool info!
AND, get this:
If you'd like to climb down into an extinct cinder cone,
go right ahead!
As you can see, we did!
Picture sliding into a crater of ...
'Cause that's what it is!
Just be sure you can shower afterward.
Trust me.
Getting out's a bit of a feat.

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Badlands National Park
Interior, South Dakota

Pretty much the most gorgeously, hauntingly beautiful place ever.
Wildlife, fossils, geology, native American heritage
(And my blog header!)

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Jewel Cave National Monument
Black Hills, South Dakota

The Black Hills boasts Mt Rushmore, Crazy Horse Monument
 and the classic western town 
to beat all western towns, Deadwood.
 Jewel Cave is not widely visited, but should be.
Click here to read more on the geology around
this 'gem' of southwestern South Dakota.

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as you can see, 
we won't be needing to "do" science in our homeschool for quite some time!
We had 
history/geography/natural history/paleontology/geology
 experiences aplenty!
My hubby, 
an earth science, meteorology, astronomy, ecology teacher,
 was in his glory, I'll tell ya!

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Thank you, friends, for stopping in to visit!
I hope this finds you about to enjoy a weekend filled with all you love!

I am gratefully linking this post to Jen's Quick Takes,
 as well as her 7 in 7 blogging challenge!
Please head to Jen's 
to read some pretty awesome bloggers who are rising to the 7 in 7 challenge!

Until tomorrow, friends,


And thanks to Plumrose Lane for the dividers!


  1. Lovely post Chris. We head out to California, Yosemite and Kings Canyon in 30 days. Your photos are getting me in the national park mindset.

    1. Wow, how wonderful, Debbie!!
      NEXT summer, we'll hit Kings Cnyn and Death Valley....we had to "draw the line" south of Yosemite and head back east.
      Be safe and have fun! I hope you share photos when you return!

      Enjoy and thanks for visiting!

  2. Wow those photos are STUNNING - what a trip! One day I hope we will make it over the pond from England and visit some of those amazing sites.
    Well done on digging your way through the laundry to share your experiences:-)
    Lucinda (via not-yet-open Collage Friday!)

    1. Lucinda
      Thank you for stopping over:) I hope you do come across the Pond, as well, to see a few of the sites of our beautiful USA......I'd love to get to England one day, as well...have never been there!

      Thx for your kind words...heading to your blog now for a visit.

  3. Wow you all really covered some miles! What an amazing trip!

    1. Hi Carol!
      Yes, we did...:) Lots of memories....I appreciate your visit, Carol!!

      Be well and thanks.


  4. The only one of those I've been to is St. Louis. The rest are definitely on the bucket list

    1. Well, I can't wait to see the pics when you do go!
      See you tomorrow at Sunday Snippets, RAnn and thank you for stopping in!


  5. I live in Utah, so we have quick access to many national and state parks. This year I went to Arches National Park, Goblin Valley State Park, and Green River State Park. Goblin Valley was used for filming the alien planet in Galaxy Quest. It's really beautiful.

    I've visited a few of the ones you mentioned, but you're right. You could spend the rest of your life visiting areas around the country and never run out of things to see.

    Glad you had such a great time. Happy Sharefest. I hope you have a lovely weekend. And that you recover from your trip quickly.

    1. Thank you so much, Robin!
      Arches is on our itinerary for next summer!...... I so love it there, as well as Bryce.
      Never heard of Goblin Valley...thank you for sharing that. We'll look into visiting when we are out that way next summer!
      Thanks for visiting! And for hosting the Sat Share!

  6. Great job getting all the National Park signs. We forgot to do that out west on our once in a lifetime trip.... But we have other great shots inside the parks.

    Looks like you had fun. I'm sure your kids will always remember it!

    1. Thank you, Mary!
      I appreciate your visit!!

  7. Seriously, on your next road trip you need to take me! I want to go! LOL My sister visit Alcatraz Island and she was overwhelmed by it's history. I'll be looking forward to your blog post about it. Thank you for linking up at Creative Kids Culture Blog Hop #7.

    1. Wish I could chat with your sister about her visit to Alcatraz certainly was amazing!

      Frances, thanks for stopping in and for your kind words!

  8. Chris,

    Wow! Your national parks are beautiful. I'm sure they are very different from ours, but both are majestic in their own right.

    You said, "It always intrigues me to discover people
    who have not explored our own country,
    yet cross the Pond to see the sights of Europe and even beyond."

    I could say the same about travel within Australia. We want to take trips away from home, but we have so much to see on our own doorstep. Our school holidays have just begun and we thought about going away for a few days. But we are staying home and doing some day trips to local places of interest. We live in an area where other people come for their holidays so there's lots to do and see here. I guess we think local attractions will always be here and there's no hurry to see them, but we end up never visiting the old mansion in a close by village, taking an aerial walk through the tree tops of a local national park, visiting the train museum down the road... Maybe this holiday we'll do all that and have lots of fun! I shall take my camera and write some more field trip posts!

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful national parks!

    1. Sue
      Well those day trips can be lovely! We, too, have lots of history and beauty around here but never venture to it!

      The places you may visit sound so intriguing! Can't wait to see the pics and read all abt them on your blog!

      Thanks for stopping in Sue...always love your visits!

  9. Amazing! Your children are having an amazing education and far more than their "schooled" peers. Look at all of the wonderful learning and experiences you have given them! Simply Wow. I haven't even seen half of what your children ahve already experienced. I am just so impressed at all that you do with them. And, I LOVE that you were in a photo, too! God bless, my friend! Oh, by the way, lol, thanks for linking up with FTF. :-)

    1. Thank you, friend, for the words of's been difficult week here and your kindness speaks volumes about some of the "good" that we are trying to impart...That means a lot....

      And yes, I'm trying to get in a few more shots instead of being the shutterbug all ( most of) the time!

      Thanks so much for stopping in Lisa!


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